Grade 12 L.V. Rogers student Melissa Thompson has created an updated memorial to Nelson high school students killed in the two World Wars.

From high school to the battlefield

A piece of artwork unveiled at L.V. Rogers Secondary today lists every Nelson high school student killed in the two World Wars.

A pre-Remembrance Day ceremony at L.V. Rogers Secondary today included the unveiling of a piece of artwork listing every Nelson high school student killed in the two World Wars.

The framed poster, created by a Grade 12 student and sponsored by the grad class of 1954, contains 47 names — 11 from the First World War and 36 from the Second — and will hang on the school’s Wall of Fame.

Its genesis began a few years ago when historian Sylvia Crooks — a member of the class of ‘54 — noticed a plaque in the school that honoured former students killed at war contained many errors and omissions.

She sent the school a complete list based on her own research, and they invited her to take part in their November 11 ceremonies by reading out the names and meeting with a couple of classes.

She further suggested an updated memorial be created by a student — at their 50th year reunion, Crooks’ grad class donated money to the school to update its Wall of Fame, which recognizes distinguished alumni.

The project finally came together early this year.

“I went to my art teacher and said ‘I need a kid who’s brilliant, talented, interested in something like this, and here are the parameters,’” says vice-principal Tim Mushumanksi. “Luba Hall said instantly ‘I know exactly who.’”

Melissa Thompson, 17, was tapped because she had already created some military-themed artwork. Her father’s uncle Eric fought in World War II, and although she didn’t know him, she knew about his exploits    as a medic.

Thompson created a rough sketch, with poppies in one corner and portraits of some of the students-turned-soldiers in another, as depicted in Crooks’ book, Homefront and Battlefront: Nelson, BC in World War II.

Then she started on the real thing, using liquid acrylic for the imagery and a calligraphic pen for the names.

“It took three weeks to do, probably a couple of hours a night,” Thompson says. “I didn’t think it would be that big a project when I started.”

She’s happy how it turned out. The names appear under the title The Fallen Heroes of L.V. Rogers Secondary School (although technically it was still Nelson High School when they attended).

Crooks is delighted with the outcome.

“I’m pleased the high school’s gone ahead with the new memorial plaque and the job this young student has done,” she says.

Just Posted

Leafs lose marathon season opener

Nelson fell 3-2 to Fernie in double overtime

Latest round of Columbia River Treaty talks wrap up in Cranbrook

Federal, provincial, U.S. and Indigenous representatives recently met for eight round of discussions

CHECK THIS OUT: Libraries as safe spaces for the homeless

Anne DeGrace writes about an upcoming movie and talk focused on libraries and homelessness

First Nations given max compensation for Ottawa’s child-welfare discrimination

2016 ruling said feds didn’t give same funding for on-reserve kids as was given to off-reserve kids

PLACE NAMES: Kaslo and Sandon neighbourhoods

Narrow valley saw Sandon’s main street over a creek

VIDEO: Vancouver Island mayor details emergency response after fatal bus crash

Sharie Minions says she is ‘appalled’ by condition of road where bus crashed

Federal party leaders address gun violence after weekend shooting near Toronto

One teen was killed and five people injured in the shooting

Conservatives promise tax cut that they say will address Liberal increases

Scheer says the cut would apply to the lowest income bracket

B.C. VIEWS: Cutting wood waste produces some bleeding

Value-added industry slowly grows as big sawmills close

Fewer trees, higher costs blamed for devastating downturn in B.C. forestry

Some say the high cost of logs is the major cause of the industry’s decline in B.C.

Federal food safety watchdog says batch of baby formula recalled

The agency says it’s conducting a food safety investigation

UVic president offers condolences after two students killed in bus crash

‘We also grieve with those closest to these members of our campus community,’ Cassels says

Coming Home: B.C. fire chief and disaster dog return from hurricane-ravaged Bahamas

The pair spent roughly one week on Great Abaco Island assisting in relief efforts

Most Read